Money Minute: Starbucks Customers 'Pay It Forward'; Debt-Ceiling Debate Renews

Starbucks customers in Nevada are in the holiday spirit.

Starbucks customers in Nevada are in the holiday spirit
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

At a Starbucks' (SBUX) drive-thru in Reno, 73 straight customers "paid it forward" last week -- paying for the coffee of the person in the next car in line. And get this: the giving chain ended because of a computer glitch.

Congress hammered out a budget agreement this month, but another big obstacle looms ahead. There's no deal in sight on extending the debt ceiling, prompting Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to warn that the government could run out of money to pay its bills by late February or early March. He noted that "increasing the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments." He said "it simply allows the government to pay for expenditures Congress has already approved."

The Senate has put off the confirmation vote on Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The delay is because of, what else, partisan bickering on Capitol Hill. A vote on Yellen is now scheduled for Jan. 6.

Here on Wall Street Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) added 11 points, ringing up its 46 record closing high this year. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%But the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) slipped a point and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) lost 12.

Expect some volatility in today's trading. This is what's known as a quadruple witching day, when a bunch of stock options and futures expire all at once.

Nike's (NKE) profit jumped 40 percent from a year ago, with strong demand for its athletic wear in the U.S. and overseas. Nike was recently added to the Dow Jones industrial average. The stock has raced ahead by 60 percent over the past year.

Lastly, Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg is selling 41 million shares, as part of a tax strategy tied to his exercise of stock options. His take from the sale: $2.3 billion. Zuckerberg also plans to donate to charity stock valued at $1 billion. Since going public two years ago, Facebook shares have gained 82 percent, and the stock will be added to the S&P 500 at the close of trading today.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.